17/09/2015 10:32 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

What Debate With Nitish? Gujarat No. 1, Bihar At No. 21 In Development, Says Finance Minister Arun Jaitley

World Economic Forum/Flickr
Arun Jaitley, Minister of Finance, Corporate Affairs and Defence of India at the World Economic Forum - India Economic Summit 2014 in New Delhi, Copyright by World Economic Forum / Benedikt von Loebell

NEW DELHI— Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today hit out at Chief Minister Nitish Kumar saying the time for debate on development is over as it has been proved that Gujarat is No 1 and Bihar stands at 21.

Accusing Kumar and RJD leader Lalu Prasad of destroying Ram Manohar Lohia's legacy by aligning with Congress for Bihar polls, he said the two leaders failed to develop the state in the last 25 years when they were in power.

"Nitishji says let us debate the development issue. What is there to debate? This debate is over. Gujarat is number 1 and Bihar stands at 21. The economy speaks through statistics and not through debate," Jaitley said.

He was launching BJP's youth wing BJYM's nationwide "Panch Kranti Abhiyan" on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's birthday.

Taking a swipe at the partners of the Grand Alliance, he said these leaders who did politics in the name of socialist Lohia, who always opposed Congress, today sit in its office for addressing joint press conferences.

"Those who do politics in the name of Lohia, are now visiting AICC for press conferences everyday. The legacy of Dr Lohia has been destroyed by these people....," he said.

Jaitley also said Congress Chief Sonia Gandhi was given the role of a "warm-up speaker" at a recent rally of the Grand Alliance and that the opposition party, which was stalling Parliament, will be further eased out in many states.

The Finance Minister also took on Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for daring the Prime Minister to debate the issue of development in Bihar, saying the state stood at the 21st position on ease of doing business in a World Bank report, far behind Gujarat which occupied the top slot.

Claiming that the chemistry in Bihar has changed ahead of Assembly polls, Jaitley said BJP and its allies will win the forthcoming Assembly polls. "We will win Bihar polls. It will be a repeat of what happened during the Lok Sabha election," he said.

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